Close-up: Nu-rave pioneer James Ford

He's produced the Arctic Monkeys and the Klaxons but now he's taking centre stage
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The Independent Online

James Ford never planned it this way. "If Jas and I had sat down and thought, 'Let's form a new band and make a record,' we probably wouldn't be called Simian Mobile Disco it's a bit of a joke name. And we probably wouldn't have made that kind of record. But not caring too much about it gave it a throwaway feel which people like. It is dance music, after all."

Ford is talking about " Attack Decay Sustain Release", an acclaimed album of slightly punky, feel-good electro-house, with some added "stupid hip-hop party lyrics", that was released earlier this year.

He and Jas Shaw had previously been in psychedelic-electro-folk band Simian, but at the weekends would moonlight as club DJs calling themselves Simian Mobile Disco, naturally and began making dance music just to be able to play it in their sets.

They are often lumped in with that disparate group of musicians described as nu rave, but probably only because Ford also produced the Mercury Prize-winning "Myths of the Near Future", by the genre's poster boys, Klaxons. He also produced the Arctic Monkeys' "Favourite Worst Nightmare". "I feel happier with my fingers in lots of pies," he says. "I like what one thing lends to another."

Simian Mobile Disco are on tour now, and Ford has to finish producing Alex Turner's upcoming solo album, but he is already thinking ahead. "I'd like to make an ambient or strings-led album," he says. "But I think Jas and I will come up with a new name for ourselves for that one." *

Simian Mobile Disco are on tour with The Chemical Brothers to 15 December, and on their own from 17 December to 12 February. "Attack Decay Sustain Release" is out now (Wichita Records)

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